Vowels Matter on Unexact FamilySearch Searches

Searching the Cook County, Illinois, death index on FamilySearch reminded me that when searching with the “exact box” unchecked vowels sometimes matter.

The last names of Verikios and Verikos only differ by one letter: a vowel. It’s not even the initial letter where a different letter is more significant. In most sites that have unexact searches, vowels typically are ignored unless they are the first letter. The difficulty I had in finding the death entry for a Peter Verikios in Chicago was a reminder to me that I’ve got to think about vowel droppings in spelling variants when using FamilySearch. 


In summary, one would think that if I’ve got the search set up to be unexact that Verikios and Verikos would return the same hits.

They don’t.

Same thing is true for Goldenstein and Goldenstien which I learned some time ago.

These comments only apply to FamilySearch.


4 thoughts on “Vowels Matter on Unexact FamilySearch Searches

  1. Even though Veriklos is very close to Verikos, it is not close enough.

    In my area we have Closs, Kloss, Close, and Clohs.

  2. Wildcards can be used on FamilySearch to help with this sort of problem:

    Use one questions mark, ?, to replace one letter in a name or
    one star, *, to replace more than one letter.

    There needs to be at least 3 known letters remaining after the wildcard is inserted.

    Or sometimes I just search using the first names of a child and the parents in a particular place, leaving the surname out altogether.

    • Thanks–you are right about the wildcards. I just wish the Soundex worked as when the 2nd and 3rd letters are vowels the wildcards won’t work.

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